What happened on the Mount of Transfiguration, and why is it important?
II Peter 1:16 - “ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
Now, ask yourself this question, 'when were they eyewitnesses of Yeshua’s coming in power and glory?' Yeshua (Jesus) has not yet come in power and glory. Instead, He came as a lowly servant that rode on a donkey, the next time He will be riding on a white horse. The word “majesty” means glory or splendor.
Now, continue reading for clarity:
II Peter 1:17-18: “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”
On the holy mountain is when they saw Him coming in His power and Glory, when they heard the voice from heaven. Now in verses 18-21 Peter says that they, the eyewitnesses (Peter, James and John) have the more sure word of prophecy concerning His coming in power and glory.
Also, in I Peter 5:1 - “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:”
In this scripture the word “partaker or sharer ” means an associate, companion, partaker, sharer. The word “revealed” is “apocalypto” in Greek or “galah” in Hebrew meaning “unveiling” as in Revelation. Also, the words “shall be” or “will be” or future tense, meaning it is yet to be revealed.
In Matthew, Mark and Luke we find the details of when Peter, James and John were eyewitnesses of His future coming in power and glory. For clarity please read Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13 and
There are some key points:
… In each reference Peter, James and John are told not to tell what they had seen until after He had arisen, which apparently they obeyed.
… In Matthew 17:1-13 (verse 9) Yeshua calls it a vision.
… Luke’s account gives a little different account of the event. In verse 31 he states that Moses and Elijah spoke of His departure, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.
For a clearer understanding we need to back up and read the scriptures prior to this event. All scripture must be taken in context of what is taking place or being discussed.
In Matt 16:21-28, Jesus is prophesying concerning His death and in key verses 27 and 28, He prophecies His coming in the glory of His Father with His angels, and in verse 28 He states that some standing there will not die until they see Him coming in His Kingdom. This is just before the account of the transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-13.
Again in Mark 8: 31-38 we are told the same thing, Yeshua is predicting His death and His coming in glory.
In Mark 9:1 it is stated again that some standing there will not taste death till they see the Kingdom of God present with Power.
In Luke 9:21-26 the same thing is repeated once again. In verse 27 Yeshua again says that some standing there will not taste death till they see the Kingdom of God.
Now, Peter, James and John and all of those people standing there that day are dead and gone and Yeshua has not yet come in His power and glory so what is being referred to by Yeshua?
Right after these words that “some standing there will not taste death” until they see Him coming in His Kingdom- the transfiguration takes place. So, the transfiguration was where they saw Him coming in His power and glory. Hence, Yeshua was referring to what was about to take place on the mountain with Peter, James and John. These three men did not die a physical death until they had seen a vision of a future event when Y'shua returned as a reigning King. This would be Him coming in His power and glory. So, what was the transfiguration? It was a vision of what was coming in the future; the entrance into the Millennial Kingdom of God upon earth.
They recognized and linked it to Zechariah Chapter 14 where the reign of Messiah, in His Kingdom, would be during Tabernacles and all nations would come up to worship Him. They associated Tabernacles with the coming of Messiah and the ushering in of the Kingdom. Hence, we have Peter wanting to build 3 Tabernacles or Sukkot. This actual event itself probably took place on the day of Yom Kippur (which is probably when Yeshua will physically return to earth) and Tabernacles (Sukkot) begins 5 days later.
In addition, this event was a supernatural one as His garment was whiter than any man could get it, and the bright light was not an ordinary light but a supernatural one, like His Shekinah glory. The cloud represented God’s presence and they were well aware of this from their ancestors wilderness journey. His "tabernacling" among us was also referring to the return of the Shekinah glory to the Temple. The Shekinah glory rests upon Yeshua.
They had never seen Moses and Elijah so how did they know it was them unless it was supernaturally given to them in understanding? I have had dreams and visions in which I knew things, as understood, although I was not told in the dream or vision. So, what does Moses and Elijah actually represent in the vision? They represent the law (Torah) and the Prophets.
Read Matthew 11:13, Luke 18:31, Luke 24:27, and Luke 24:44. Moses and Elijah represented everything that had been prophesied concerning Y'shua and His sufferings and then His coming glory and Kingdom on earth. All of the things spoken about the Kingdom would come, but only after His crucifixion and resurrection.
Moses represented everything spoken about Him in the Torah and Elijah represented everything spoken about Him in the Prophets. Hence, everything spoken about Him by the Torah and the Prophets was about to happen.
In I Peter 1:10-12 – The Prophets prophesied of old about the sufferings and the glories that would follow. Before the transfiguration, Yeshua had just spoken about His sufferings and resurrection, now He was showing them HIS GLORY that was coming. A future event! Moses and Elijah spoke about (in Luke) His demise that was coming in Jerusalem. So, they affirmed His sufferings, but then his Glory which followed. Their appearance was a confirmation of all that had been written about Him. This vision proved His deity to them.
Hence, The Apostle Peter in II Peter 1: 16-21 can affirm to the fact that they were eyewitnesses to HIS COMING IN HIS POWER AND GLORY when they saw the vision and heard the voice from heaven on the holy mountain.
In Deut 18:18-19 it says, “ Hear ye Him”, this is what Moses said and that is what the voice from Heaven said. Almost every book in the Old Testament speaks of His coming Kingdom.
People get ready – He is returning and this time He will not be a suffering servant, this time He will be a reigning KING! We have been given a “sure word of prophecy” by those who have already had a “glimpse” into the future.